HP Color LaserJet 2600 and 2605 Printer Series - Solving Print Quality Problems

Try the following solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue.

Print from a different software program

Try printing from a different software program. If the page prints correctly, the problem is with the program from which you were printing.

  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, see the next solution.

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Check the paper type setting for your print job

Follow these steps if the printout has smears, fuzzy or dark print, curled paper, toner scatter, loose toner, or dropouts.

  1. Choose the Print option from your software application.

  2. Within the Print Dialog Window, click Properties or Preferences.

  3. Click the Paper/Quality tab.

  4. Check the paper type setting.

    1. Click on the Type is or Paper Type drop-down list.

    2. Select the paper type that best describes the paper you are printing on.

      • If you are using special paper, such as glossy, select the appropriate paper type.

      • If you are using light paper select a lighter weight paper type in the drop-down list.

      • If you are using heavier paper select a heavier weight paper type in the drop-down list.

    3. If the paper printout is curled or wavy, select a lighter weight paper type in the drop-down list.

    4. If the printout has areas of fuzzy or dark print, toner scatter, or loose toner select a heavier weight paper type in the drop-down list.

  5. Click OK to save changes. Click OK to print.

  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, see the next solution.

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Check print cartridge status

Follow these steps to check the estimated life remaining in the print cartridges and if applicable, the status of other replaceable maintenance parts.

Step one: Print the supplies status page

Follow these steps to print out the supplies status page from your printer.

  1. On the Printer’s control panel, press the Setup button.

  2. Press the right arrow () to highlight Reports, and then press OK.

  3. Press the right arrow () to highlight Supplies Status Page, and then press OK.

    Figure 1: Supplies Status Page

Step two: Check supplies status

  1. Look at the supplies status report to check the percent of life remaining on the supplies status page for the print cartridges and if applicable, the status of other replaceable maintenance parts.

    Print quality problems may occur when using a print cartridge that is at its estimated end of life. The supply status page indicates when a supply level is very low. Once an HP supply has reached very low, HP’s premium protection warranty on that supply has ended.

    The supply does not need to be replaced now unless the print quality is no longer acceptable. Consider having a replacement available to install when print quality is no longer acceptable.

    If you determine that you need to replace a print cartridge or other replaceable maintenance parts, the genuine HP part numbers are listed on the supplies status page.

  2. Check to see if you are using an HP genuine cartridge.

    Type of print cartridge
    Description
    Refilled or remanufactured print cartridge
    Hewlett Packard cannot recommend the use of non-HP supplies, either new or remanufactured.
    Because they are not HP products, HP cannot influence their design or control their quality. If you are using a refilled or remanufactured print cartridge and are not satisfied with the print quality, replace the print cartridge with a genuine HP print cartridge.
    Genuine HP print cartridge
    A genuine HP print cartridge has the words "HP" or "Hewlett-Packard" on it, or has the HP logo on it. Click here for more information on idenitfying HP Original cartridges at h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?&objectID=c02603087.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, see the next solution.

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Calibrate the printer to align colors

Calibration is a printer function that optimizes print quality.

Follow these steps if you experience print quality problems such as misaligned color, colored shadows, blurry graphics or other print quality issues.
  1. On the printer’s control panel, press the Setup button.

  2. Press the right arrow () until display reads System Setup, and then press Select.

  3. Press the right arrow () to highlight Print Quality, and then press Select.

  4. Press the right arrow () to highlight Calibrate Color, and then press Select.

  5. Press the right arrow () to highlight Calibrate Now, and then press Select.

  6. Press Select to confirm Calibrate Now.

A Calibrating message will appear on the printer control panel display. The calibration process takes a few minutes to complete. Do not turn the printer off until the calibration process has finished.

  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, see the next solution.

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Print a cleaning page

During the printing process, paper, toner, and dust particles can accumulate inside the printer and can cause print quality issues such as toner specks or spatter, smears, streaks, lines or repeating marks.

Follow these steps to clean the printer’s paper path.
  1. On the printer’s control panel, press the Setup button.

  2. Press the right arrow () to highlight Service, and then press OK.

  3. Press the right arrow () to highlight Cleaning Mode, and then press OK.

  4. When prompted, load copier-grade paper (not bond, heavy, or rough paper), and then press OK.

    A CLEANING message appears on the printer control panel display while the cleaning is taking place. The cleaning process takes a few minutes to complete. Do not turn the printer off until the cleaning process has finished.

    A page will be printed when the task is complete. Discard the page.

    You might need to repeat the cleaning process to thoroughly clean the printer. Print a few more pages to see if the problem is resolved.

  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, see the next solution.

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Visually inspect the print cartridge

Follow these steps to inspect the print cartridge.

  1. Remove the print cartridge from the printer, and verify that the sealing tape has been removed.

  2. Examine the surface of the green imaging drum on the bottom of the print cartridge.

    CAUTION: Do not touch the green roller (imaging drum) on the bottom of the cartridge. Fingerprints on the imaging drum can cause print-quality problems.

    Figure 2: Imaging drum - do not touch

  3. If you see any scratches, fingerprints, foreign objects or other damage on the imaging drum, replace the print cartridge. The HP part number is listed on the supplies status page.

  4. If there are foreign objects protruding from the cartridge e.g. plastic, sealing tape, or blade, replace the print cartridge.

  5. Try rocking the print cartridge gently several times and reinstall it. Print a few pages to see if the problem has been resolved.

  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, see the next solution.

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Check paper and printing environment

Step one: Use paper that meets HP specifications

Some print-quality problems arise from the use of media that does not meet HP printer specifications.

  • Always use a paper type and weight is supported by the printer. Refer to the printer’s user manual for a list of supported paper types.

  • Use paper that is of good quality and free of cuts, nicks, tears, spots, loose particles, dust, wrinkles, voids, staples, and curled or bent edges.

  • Use paper that has not been previously printed on.

  • Use paper that does not contain metallic material such as glitter.

  • Use paper that is designed for use in laser printers. Do not use paper that is designed only for use in Inkjet printers.

  • Use paper that is not too rough. Using smoother paper generally results in better print quality.

Step two: Check the environment

The environment can directly affect print quality and is a common cause for print quality or paper feeding issues.

  • Move the printer away from drafty locations such as open windows or doors, or air conditioning vents.

  • Make sure the printer is not exposed to temperatures or humidity outside of printer’s specifications.

  • Do not install the printer in confined spaces such as a cabinet.

  • Ensure the printer is positioned on a level and sturdy surface.

  • Remove anything blocking the vents. Make sure that there is good air flow around the printer, including the top.

  • Protect the printer from airborne debris, dust, steam, grease, or other elements that can leave residue inside the printer.

    • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

    • If the issue persists, see the next solution.

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Check other print job settings

If you are printing from a software program, follow these steps to try to resolve the issue by adjusting other print driver settings.

Adjust color settings

Follow these steps if colors on your page do not match your screen or if you are not satisfied with the colors on your print job.
  1. Choose the Print option from your software application.

  2. Within the Print Dialog Window, click Properties or Preferences.

  3. Click the Color tab.

  4. Under Color Options select from the following:

    • Automatic: Select this setting for most color print jobs

    • Print in Grayscale: Select this option to print a color document in levels of gray.

    • Manual: Select this setting to adjust the color settings independent from other settings.

      NOTE: Changing color settings manually can impact output. HP recommends that only color graphics experts change these settings.
  5. Click OK to save changes. Click OK to print.

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Try a different printer driver

You might need to use a different printer driver if the printed page has unexpected lines in graphics, missing text, missing graphics, incorrect formatting, or substituted fonts.

Figure 3: Printed page having substituted fonts

HP PCL 6 driver
Provided as the default driver. This driver is automatically installed unless you select a different one
Recommended for all Windows environments
Provides the overall best speed, print quality, and printer-feature support for most users
Developed to align with the Windows Graphic Device Interface (GDI) for the best speed in Windows environments
Might not be fully compatible with third-party and custom software programs that are based on PCL 5
HP UPD PS driver
Recommended for printing with Adobe® software programs or with other highly graphics-intensive software programs
Provides support for printing from postscript emulation needs, or for postscript flash font support
HP UPD PCL 5
Recommended for general office printing in Windows environments
Compatible with previous PCL versions and older HP LaserJet printers
The best choice for printing from third-party or custom software programs
The best choice when operating with mixed environments, which require the printer to be set to PCL 5 (UNIX, Linux, mainframe)
Designed for use in corporate Windows environments to provide a single driver for use with multiple printer models
Preferred when printing to multiple printer models from a mobile Windows computer

Click here to download additional printer drivers from hp at www.hp.com/go/support/. Click on Download drivers and software (and firmware), and enter the product number.

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